Article by: Graham Green
Published inRacing Poston 11th April 2014
Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex and conditional rider Gavin Sheehan were celebrating yesterday after one of the jump season's most controversial stewarding decisions was reversed at a BHA inquiry.
In quashing Sheehan's four day careless riding ban and awarding the 2m7f handicap chase at Stratford on March 29 to Dolatulo, the partnership were providing the 100th winner of Greatrex's career.
Much to the bemusement of both connections and most onlookers, the seven year old, owned by Betfair co-founder Andrew Black, was disqualified and placed second after Benbens, the 15-8 favourite ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies and beaten two and a quarter lengths, collided with the running rail where the course narrows close to the finish.
Convinced his suspension was harsh when he had not veered off a straight line, Sheehan lodged an appeal that, once successful was swiftly followed by the amendment to the result which reverts to the original placings.
Greatrex believed that Ellnando Queen had brought up his century when scoring at Plumpton on March 31, but is now re-writing his stable records to bestow that honour on Dolatulo who, again under Sheehan, runs in the Neil Madgwick/Clip Scaffolding Southern Handicap Chase (3.25) at Fontwell today.
Greatrex said: "I'm absolutely delighted Gavin's ban has been quashed and Dolatulo has got the race back"
"I was pretty confident Gavin's appeal would be successful, although you're always concerned they (the stewards) don't like changing their minds. The more I watched the race, the more I was convinced I couldn't see where they were coming from, but it's all about opinions and I was just hoping mine was right"
The result provided Sheehan's 40th winner of the season and extended his lead to eight over Michael Byrne in the conditional jockeys' title race.
Sheehan, whose ban was due to start tomorrow and who partnered Dalmo to victory in the Towcester opener yesterday, said: "I'm very pleased, it's another winner and I've got rid of the days, which was important as we look like having a few runners over the weekend"